Heath Forest in Tropical Southeast Asia: Its Ecology and Conservation Risk


Tropical forests have a complex structure, from lowlands to mountain forests, and among them is the heath forest (HF). HF are characterized by nutrient poor soil which limits all above ground biomass, in addition to the forest structure and biodiversity. HF are distributed in Southeast Asia as well as in the Neotropics, although they are known by different names. Their distribution is in patches in lowland sites. Trees with poor economic value have resulted in a poor consideration of the forest from a conservation perspective. In this study, we emphasize the reconsideration of the HF when it comes to its importance in term of species diversity, endemism, and ecosystem services at both the global and regional level. Moreover, HF has a crucial role in public education, tourism, and the local economy, and as a buffer in terms of limiting the climate change effect on many tropical cities.

Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation: Volume 1-3